Top Posts of 2012 #1: 5 Reasons why the Church is an Anti-Leadership Organization

You made this the most popular post in 2012! Apparently you resonated with the idea that the church is a leadership starved organization and that the church that decides to “operate as normal” actually repels leaders. This means you and I have to lead our churches to operate and act differently in 2013 if we want to build a healthy leadership culture in our churches this year!



There are all kinds of threats and challenges facing the church these days. But underlying them all is one common denominator. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. Churches don’t naturally attract, develop, or keep leaders. But why?

1. Pace of Change:

Leaders live in the future. They dream about what should be. Most churches are consumed with preserving the past.

2. Pride and Fear:

Growing and developing young leaders requires giving leadership away. But when the organization is driven by a personality rarely are young leaders given real leadership opportunities to experiment with and grow from.

3. Misalignment:

A majority of churches are stuck, not because they don’t have a vision, but they have not aligned the systems and ministries of the church to move people and the church towards that preferred future. Leaders grow frustrated in silo oriented misaligned organizations.

4. Criticism:

Leaders by their very nature are change agents. Because the unstated goal of most churches is to preserve the past, church leaders find themselves fighting the family instead of fighting the enemy.

5. Compensation:

High capacity leaders can use their skills in a variety of industries and participate in meaningful work. Many churches simply aren’t willing to, or can’t pay leaders what they’re worth.

How are you addressing these underlying issues of an anti-leadership culture in your church? What’s missing from the list?

Posted in Leadership

One Response to “Top Posts of 2012 #1: 5 Reasons why the Church is an Anti-Leadership Organization”

  1. Bill Weisler December 31, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    For number 2 why does it have to be young leaders? I mean growing young leaders is important, but no more important than growing leaders period, or recognizing leadership that already exists in the congregation that is not being utilized. There is experience and knowledge (wisdom and intelligence) that is already around us, but many churches refuse to tap into it, because it wasn’t developed by the church.

    For number 4, I agree, but I also find that in many times the church is to blame for its own criticism. Not because it is deserved, but because they do not do a good job of communicating the “business” side of running a church. When decisions are made that seem contradictory to what the church is communicating it degrades the trust that the congregation has with the church leadership. And while those of us who are close to leadership, may be in the know; other people’s perception becomes their reality and the church becomes untrustworthy. Sometimes I wonder if churches shouldn’t have a PR firm on retainer just to make sure that they either communicate adequately, or have an outsiders view on the communication that is taking place.

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